By Prince Osuagwu
World renowned cyber Security company, Symantec, has fingered Nigeria’s explosive ICT growth as one of the reasons the country keeps soaring in cyber threats. Symantec through its Territorial Manager, Indian Ocean Islands , West, East and Central Africa , Mr Sheldon Hand, while interacting with Journalists in Lagos last week, said that the price the country would have to pay in the kind of growth experienced in ICT in the last decade would also be a commensurate threat growth.
He said that the worst hit would be the small and medium businesses which, about 50 per cent worldwide, do not have recovery plans. This is even when reports have shown that 71 per cent of SMBs that suffered a cyber attack never recovered. Hand however, said that enterprises and consumers needed to be wary about four key trends in the security landscape which it discovered in its Global Internet security threat reports volume 17.
The report released recently identified four key trends in cyber threat, including malware attacks, targeted attacks, mobile threats and data breaches.
It will be recalled that the same report indicated that Nigeria stepped up six positions to rank 59th in global internet threat, a case Hand said was partly due to major developments in the ICT landscape including growth in internet subscription and penetration, adoption and use of modern gadgets and applications like smart phones, PCs and tablets as well as Nigeria’s in roads in submarine broadband cables.
Hand even predicted that the threats targeted at mobile devices would be on the increase in 2012, particularly as the sale of smartphones and mobile money transfers continued to gain ground. Meanwhile, in the same way was mobile malware said to be poised for tangible threat to enterprises and consumers if they failed to take measures at safeguarding their systems and devices.
Hand summed it all up thus: “While profits remain lucrative in the Personal Computer space, mobile offers new opportunities to cybercriminals that potentially are more profitable. Mobile growth also creates an urgent concern to organisations around the possibility of breaches.
Given the intertwining of work and personal information on mobile devices the loss of confidential information presents a real risk to businesses. Unlike a desktop computer, or even a laptop, mobile devices are easily lost.” He advocated best practice guidelines, including developing and enforcing IT policies, protection of information, authentication of identities, efficient management of systems and adequate protection of key infrastructures.
But Hand was also on hand to unveil some of Symantec’s products meant to help businesses out of the cyber threat quagmire. They include the Backup Exec 2012, which is a cloud-based disaster recovery solution with simplified user interface and NetBackup 7.5 that simplifies management and recovery of storage level snapshot from a single console.